The Fortant Hills Reserve Viognier 2012 is sourced from hillside vineyards in the Languedoc comprising three different soil conditions. The Languedoc is located in Southwest France and is the leading wine-producing region in the world, in terms of production. The temperature is hot during the day in the summer, but cool at night. The grape lots from the different vineyards are pressed and fermented separately, some of this Viognier is fermented and aged in French oak barrels. The wine is aged “on less“, which means the dead yeast and grape residue is kept in the barrels and the tanks with the wine. During this time they perform “battonage“, which is a fancy way of saying they stir the lees with the wine on a regular basis, the more you stir, the creamier the wine gets. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is extra virgin olive oil yellow. The nose is delicate and beautiful, Viognier often smells more like perfume than wine, here there are aromas of melon, lemon, magnolia, apricot, faint butterscotch and honey. A medium bodied dry wine, with richness to the flavors and a solid slap of acidity. It tastes of grapefruit, Meyer lemon, orange zest, herbs, pineapple, guava and lime. The mid-palate brings a brush of minerality, dried pineapple pieces, a touch and just a touch of cream and tart blood orange. The acidity is spot on, it will cleanse the palate, but not get in the way of you’re sipping pleasure. The finish is full and long. You should find this Viognier selling somewhere in the $12 to $14 range.
The Fortant Hills Reserve Viognier 2012 is an excellent bottle of White wine. Well-made, well priced, interesting, flavorful and complex, French, but with a nod toward fruit forward New World wine. Languedoc has been supplying wine to everyday, value priced French wine drinkers for decades and they have bang for the buck wines down pat. If you have not had a Viognier before, it falls somewhere between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Gris/Grigio. Not as bright and bold as Sauv Blanc and not as subtle and acidic as Pinot Gris, but if you enjoy either or both of those wines, Viognier will appeal to you. Plus, Viognier has a nose that puts many perfumes to shame, I talking to you Brittany Spears Fantasy fragrance.